Advantages of Diesel Air-Cooled Used Generators

Air-Cooled Diesels Satisfy Application Needs

Indoor Diesel Generator Set

Diesel air-cooled used generators have been used for many years and have a long track record of being reliable, easily adaptable, and relatively inexpensive. The output these workhorses produce, in relation to maintenance and initial costs, makes used diesel generators one of the most popular choices for power generation across the world.

In addition to low costs, the simple design ensures the used generators can operate in a variety of environmental conditions including extreme heat, cold, and dust, all while using a cooling process that is always in ample supply.

Diesel-powered used generators can be adapted to fit almost any type of application. Most commonly, air-cooled diesel generators are used in the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Military (Air-cooled diesel generator units are most preferred due to their resistance to varying environmental conditions)
  • Construction
  • Main Power Source
  • Backup Power Source (Most backup power sources are used generators)
  • Oil Production
  • Mining and Forestry
  • Medical Field (Uses new diesel generators vs. used diesel generators)
  • Rental Property (Used generators are the best rental property option for its costs vs. benefits)
  • Stand Alone Prefabricated Buildings (Low long-term upkeep makes used diesel generators the most popular choice for prefabricated remote buildings)
  • Maritime Operations / Ships (Air-cooled diesel engine units are the most common engines on ships across the world)
  • Telecommunications
  • Refrigeration (Air-cooled diesel generator systems are preferred for their open design)
  • Pumping Stations / Irrigation Operations (Used generators or air-cooled diesel engine components are optimal for seldom used septic or wastewater systems)


Hour Meter for Air Cooled Engine Powered Generator

There are many advantages to selecting an air-cooled engine powered generator instead of using the traditional water-cooled engine. Many owners prefer air-cooled to coolant system for the below reasons. Diesel engines cooled by water or air have the following advantages:

Efficient Design

All used generators require a cooling component. An air-cooled diesel generator or engine does not require a water pump, radiator, temperature gauge, or hoses. There is no coolant to freeze, leak, evaporate, boil, become contaminated, or cause corrosion within the cooling system.

Because the cooling system is uncomplicated, it requires less short-term maintenance, is less prone to cause system-wide failure, and reduces overall downtime. Since there isn’t a radiator system in an air-cooled diesel generator costs are reduced in packaging, shipping, and less space is required to house the unit.

Use of Diesel Fuel

By using diesel as the fuel source used generators use less fuel overall than natural gas units. The used diesel generators fuel is safer to handle than other fuel sources and traditionally more readily available on site. (construction, military, agriculture, etc.).

Flexible Design

Due to the reliability and simplistic design, air-cooled diesel generators can be used to accommodate a variety of applications. For the most part, critical long-run operations such as maritime and navigational buoys and lighthouses or telecommunications equipment use air-cooled diesel generators.

Response teams working in disaster areas typically use lightweight portable air-cooled diesel generators. Fire, flood, avalanche, or earthquake areas are often times full of debris and dirt which can clog other used generators much easier than air-cooled diesel generator systems.

Failure rates among air-cooled diesel generators are much less common due to their stand-alone capacity. Military operations use air-cooled diesel generators due to their track record of being reliable under battle conditions.

Operational Efficiency

Prepping Generator for Installation

The main advantage used diesel generators have over other types of engines is that they run at higher operating temperatures and rapidly warm-up. This significantly reduces cylinder bore, and piston/ring wear.

By running used diesel generators at such a high temperature, sludging of the lubricating oil is reduced especially in short-term scenarios. The quick warm-up period also allows the air-cooled diesel engine to accept its full load capacity much faster than liquid cooled engines.

Ease of Installation

Air-cooled diesel generators, like liquid-cooled engines, are fairly easy to install. However air-cooled diesel generators are less prone to vibration failures. Both liquid-cooled and air-cooled diesel engine systems require cool, clean air for combustion and secondary cooling, ventilation, exhaust piping, mounting racks, and guards applied over hot and rotating parts.

Not all used generators are created equal. It is important to do your research and determine the scope of the project, price, and long-term usage for the air-cooled diesel engine before you purchase. All used generators should be properly inspected and maintained by a certified air-cooled diesel engine specialist to regulation working standards.

Referenced: Bishop, Sid. ‘Air-Cooled Diesel Engines.’ On-Site Power Generation 4th Edition. Boca Raton, Florida: Electrical Generating Systems Association, 2006.




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